Reviews for: "I Am Me"
- Susan Lissim School Library Journal
This collection of poems and artwork celebrates diversity and inclusion. Each double-page spread has a piece of art on one side and a poem on the other. Authors and artists are given credit next to their work with a complete name and grade level. The poetry is clear, thoughtful, and in some cases truly touching. Students share their personal feelings highlighting race, sex, alienation, and fitting in—all topics familiar to young adults. The extraordinary artwork is represented by a variety of mediums. Both the poetry and art depict a vibrant sense of how teens feel about themselves, their images, and their personalities—a true sense of the diversity and desire for understanding that all of us wish for. VERDICT Teachers in a variety of disciplines could easily use this title as a jumping-off point for a similar project that would encourage students to explore themselves and their relationships with others.
- Hannah Cox Reedsy
I started crying after the first poem I read. One of my soapbox topics of discussion is underestimating and looking down upon the youth of the world. Teenagers are amazing, and they have so much to offer to all of us. Their thoughts, feelings, discoveries, and art is just as valuable as what comes from adults. The teens featured in this book are bold, brave, and vulnerable in sharing their words and creativity with the world because it connects. We are all looking to relate to each other, but in our culture of comparisons and expectations, we miss out on embracing one another and ourselves. We need each other so much that we have no excuse to be anyone other than our true selves. I Am Me is a beautiful testament of individuality and standing up and being yourself no matter what the world or others make you feel. If you struggle with embracing your individualism and staying true to who you are, this collection of poems, essays, and art will inspire and encourage you to keep going on that journey. You are worth knowing, just as you are, and no one has the authority to tell you differently. I highly recommend this book and cannot wait to gift this to the young and young at heart in my life. This collection touched my heart, and I guarantee that it will impact you as well.
- Grace Cavalieri Washington Independent Review of Books
Poems of self-awareness give us hope for the restoration of sanity on earth for a while. These beginning poets and artists claim “the self” as source, where they find what there is to love. The endgame is to let poets be seen and heard in a book; but the real event is the poem on the page, accompanied by art that could rival any adult’s work — interpersonal and profound, this book makes the day.
- Lisa M. Schab L.C.S.W., Psychotherapist
These teens are the voice of a generation that, if allowed to speak loud enough, might pave the way for change. As a psychotherapist working with adolescents, self-esteem, and eating disorders, and as a parent, I hope this book sells millions, both to benefit individual teens and our society as a whole.
- Heather Hinds School Psychologist
This book is a beautiful anthology of heartfelt poetry and art by teens. Reading this collection will help teens feel connected and know they are not alone.
- Chelsey Funk Kennewick High School, WA
Not only did this book lead to productive discussions about societal pressure, it also inspired my students to express their personal feelings and thoughts more openly.
- Lisa Lorch Inter-Lakes Middle Tier School, NH
Every page is powerful and sends a poignant message.
- Massie Bergeron Ferrucci Jr. High School, WA
Edgy...the writing and artwork really reflect some of the things I wrestled with as a teen.
- Cathy Overman Schuylkill Valley High School, PA
Powerful, insightful and honest. The art and poetry are the perfect way to express strong feelings and introspective thoughts.
- Cherri Stephenson North Harrison Middle School, IN
Lots of heart and soul throughout the pages.
- Lauri Dewar Educator, Reviewer for NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Wonderful, thought-provoking work from our youth. I am looking forward to sharing this work with my students.
- Joshua Cartwright Librarian, Reviewer for NetGalley
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Utterly stunning. If I told you it was just artwork and poems it would be an utter disservice to this amazing collection of work. The artwork by teens is so good it restores your faith in the arts. I'd rather pay 10 million for one of these than a pickled shark... I am going to recommend this on a parental e-group as well. Absolutely worth having for your teen.
- Brianna Walter Educator
Between the artwork and the poetry, the message is nothing short of powerful. As an adult, many of the poems spoke to me and would definitely speak volumes to my students. This book is unique in its reading experience and the connection between the artwork and poems are strong. Each poem speaks of issues faced by teenagers and even adults and focuses on the need to persevere through any struggles faced. This book can be brought into classrooms across the world and connections to the text can be made. I enjoyed the read and look forward to implementing some of the poetry in my classroom during a social injustice unit.
- Nina Satomi Netgalley
My biggest takeaway from reading this book is how wrong it is to tell young people, "Be yourself." Being at an age where they are still figuring themselves out, hearing this overused cue can be pretty baffling (even at my age, I still get baffled by this), and the sad truth is that we tend to overlook this rather simple fact.
Because how can they be themselves if they don't even yet know who that is?
Instead tell them, "Find yourself." And let everything you do and say from that point be a constant reassurance that they are and will be loved and accepted for whoever they turn out to be. Guide them, but let them find their own paths. Stand by them, but also trust them enough to make their own choices, develop their own voices, find confidence in their differences, and grow into their truest selves.
Because if there is anything that "I Am Me" is going to prove to you, it's that teenagers are so much stronger and wiser than we often give them credit for.
And they say it all here, in powerful and empowering verses paired with artwork that show heartbreaking truths behind their colors, beauty behind their brokenness. This is them, communicating in their unfiltered voices their sentiments, their struggles, their heartaches, their confusions, their realizations, their simple, yet bravest truths.
Reading this has reminded me, and thus has also given me a better understanding of how it's like being young in a world that is still being largely defined by the suffocating molds of old traditions and superficial expectations.
You are not alone.
It is absolutely okay to be different.
This book has definitely achieved its goal. :)
- Davina Frazier Goodreads
With the popularity of social media, our young people are now more than ever inundated with a false sense of perfection. As a teacher, I have seen how this affects students self-esteem during a critical time of development. I Am Me by Tom Worthen, Ph.D., is an excellent book for teens because it has art and poems written by teens that addresses being oneself and being ok with who you are. The art is outstanding and the poems are well written. I liked how the book is designed with art on one page and a poem on the adjacent of a similar subject. This allows the reader to have a visual image in mind while reading the poem.